GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection
#84 — April 1, 2019
The unholy pain of exclusion should not be felt by anyone.
— Rev. Dr. Deborah Darlington
Welcome, Inspired Seekers!
Are you at peace enough, with Spirit, that you trust your core identity — who you are as a creation of the Divine with all of the gifts, talents and imperfections that are part of your “package?”
I believe that, if you are at peace, comfortable in your own being, the need to exclude others diminishes. As it diminishes, the line between the sacred and the non-sacred blurs almost to the point of dissolution.
I submit that our job as people of faith is to find the goodness in all things — especially in the challenges, problems and tragedies of this world. The words of a spiritual mentor of mine continue to reverberate in my head: Where is the hand of God in this? That question is to be asked in every situation, especially the painful, uncomfortable ones, if we really trust our beliefs and if we are at peace with our core identity.
Seated in the center of Buddhism is the concept of Interconnectedness to all in creation; it does not allow for an us/them existence. In the Christian tradition is the idea of the Incarnation; the indwelling Spirit in all things. These beliefs challenge and grow us as they serve as reminders of the connection to the good, the bad and the worst that we see and experience. We are connected to it all.
When we deny those frightening shadow parts of ourselves, when we continue to see differences as less than or as “the other” it becomes easy to exclude and condemn. It becomes very easy to judge. There are days when I believe that this might be the greatest wrong we commit in our efforts to be “better than that.”
So, during this spring season of rebirth, let's do our real job. Let us look for the good, the positive, the loving presence in the world. Let us comfort the lost, include those on the margins and, wherever we are, regardless of how difficult that may be, let us step into the interconnectedness of it all. That's not seeing the world with rose colored glasses. That's seeing the world through the lens of compassion.
If, as they say, the devil is in the details, then God — however you define that Presence — is also in the details, as is everything else! We all belong. I share this space with everyone, including you! And that is a great blessing!
Monthly Affirmation: In spaces of darkness, I will always find the Light.
The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington serves people of all belief traditions, without exclusion. She can be reached at 215 260 1611 or GraceMatters@TheSpaceForGrace.com.